massacre

noun
mas·​sa·​cre | \ ˈma-si-kər How to pronounce massacre (audio) \

Definition of massacre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty witnessed the massacre of a boatload of refugees
2 : a cruel or wanton (see wanton entry 1 sense 1a) murder
3 : a wholesale slaughter of animals Residents engaged in a citywide cat massacre.
4 : an act of complete destruction the author's massacre of traditional federalist presuppositions— R. G. McCloskey the Puritan massacre of statues and pictures— Robert Hughes

massacre

verb
massacred; massacring\ ˈma-​si-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce massacring (audio) \

Definition of massacre (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to kill by massacre
2 : mangle sense 2 words were misspelled and syntax massacred— Bice Clemow

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Other Words from massacre

Verb

massacrer \ ˈma-​si-​kər-​ər How to pronounce massacrer (audio) , -​krər \ noun

Synonyms for massacre

Synonyms: Noun

bloodbath, butchery, carnage, death, holocaust, slaughter

Synonyms: Verb

butcher, mow (down), slaughter

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Examples of massacre in a Sentence

Noun

The game turned out to be a complete massacre. the infamous massacre of more than 200 Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota

Verb

Hundreds have been massacred in the uprising. The other team really massacred us on Saturday. He really massacred that song.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The group organized or inspired a spate of attacks on French soil, including the November 2015 massacre of 130 people in Paris, and its Syrian presence was a common destination for Islamist radicals from France. Sam Schechner, WSJ, "French Police Hunt for Gunman in Strasbourg Attack," 12 Dec. 2018 Consider Glover's dancing, presumably choreographed to mimic a minstrel character; the murder of choir singers, evoking the Charleston church massacre; and death riding in on a white horse. Sonia Rao, chicagotribune.com, "A new era of political music videos is born," 14 June 2018 Opponents seized on Vedanta’s London stockmarket listing to exert pressure. John McDonnell, shadow chancellor of the exchequer for the opposition Labour party, called the shooting a massacre and demanding Vedanta shares be delisted. The Economist, "Shootings in India tarnish Vedanta’s reputation," 31 May 2018 When Kris Workman, who was paralyzed from the Nov. 5 Sutherland Springs church massacre and now uses a wheelchair, asked Abbott what course of action should be taken. Silvia Foster-frau And Andrea Zelinski, San Antonio Express-News, "Families from Texas’ most recent mass shootings come together," 24 May 2018 The massacre and its quickness recall the 2015 Charleston shooting in which white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black people in a church basement, Ramsey says. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "An Expert's Take on the Symbolism in Childish Gambino’s Viral ‘This Is America’ Video," 7 May 2018 Today, the stain of this massacre and subsequent events have left black life fragile in Tulsa. Caleb Gayle, The New Republic, "No Reconciliation Without Truth," 23 Apr. 2018 As police broadened an investigation that seeks to determine how and why Mr. Tarrant, 28 years old, allegedly prepared and carried out the massacre at two Christchurch mosques, New Zealand set a one-week... Rachel Pannett, WSJ, "New Zealand Shooting Probe Widens as Leaders Unite for Tighter Gun Laws," 18 Mar. 2019 Celebrities joined in, bolstering the cause, urging congress to act, to do something to keep a massacre of this magnitude from occurring yet again. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Year After the Parkland Shooting, Has Anything Really Changed?," 14 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jordan occupied the West Bank and massacred or expelled every Jew in the area, took their homes and destroyed their synagogues. Eugene Kontorovich, WSJ, "Airbnb’s Anti-Israel Hypocrisy," 25 Nov. 2018 In 1944, German forces massacred 642 residents of the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 9 June 2018 Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old former student who returned on Valentine’s Day to massacre his former classmates, had problems with mental illness. Mary Ellen Klas And Elizabeth Koh, miamiherald, "‘Our message is very simple. Never again.’ Douglas High students march on Tallahassee," 21 Feb. 2018 When the Islamic Sate group swept into northern Iraq in 2014, the militants massacred thousands of Yazidi men and enslaved an estimated 7,000 women and girls. Sinan Salaheddin, The Seattle Times, "Nobel laureate returns to Iraq, pledges to work for peace," 12 Dec. 2018 Then, a gunman massacred 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. James Freeman, WSJ, "Pittsburgh and the Press," 30 Oct. 2018 The military has reportedly burned entire villages, massacred men, women, and children, and engaged in systematic rape. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 And 58 concert goers massacred, hundreds of people injured, and now Mandalay Bay is turning the tables on the Las Vegas victims. Fox News, "Browder 'appalled' by White House reaction to Putin request," 19 July 2018 The father massacred seven people; his boys killed five others. New York Times, "At the Heart of Indonesia Terror Attacks, a Well-Liked Family," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'massacre.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of massacre

Noun

circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for massacre

Noun and Verb

Middle French

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Statistics for massacre

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for massacre

The first known use of massacre was circa 1578

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More Definitions for massacre

massacre

noun

English Language Learners Definition of massacre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the violent killing of many people
informal : a game or competition in which one person or team easily defeats another

massacre

verb

English Language Learners Definition of massacre (Entry 2 of 2)

: to violently kill (a group of people)
informal : to easily defeat (someone or something)
: to do (something) very badly : to ruin (something) because of lack of skill

massacre

noun
mas·​sa·​cre | \ ˈma-sə-kər How to pronounce massacre (audio) \

Kids Definition of massacre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the violent and cruel killing of a large number of people

massacre

verb
massacred; massacring

Kids Definition of massacre (Entry 2 of 2)

: to kill a large number of people in a violent and cruel manner

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More from Merriam-Webster on massacre

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for massacre

Spanish Central: Translation of massacre

Nglish: Translation of massacre for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of massacre for Arabic Speakers

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